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  MSNBC    News Nation    News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and  
   informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.  

    February 5, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00pm PST  

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prego?! but i've been buying ragu for years. [ thinking ] i wonder what other questionable choices i've made? [ club scene music ] [ sigh of relief ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego. the "news nation" following developing news. under fire for the delayed budget, president obama within the last hour urged congress to pass a short-term budget to replace those $1 trillion in
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automatic spending cuts known as sequester, the remarks hours after speaker boehner called on the white house and senate democrats for a plan to avoid the deep across the board cuts. >> the house on two occasions has passed a plan to replace the sequester. it's time for the senate democrats to do their work. it's time for the president to offer his ideas about how to replace the sequester. >> there is no reason that the jobs of thousands of americans who work in national security or education or clean energy not to mention the growth of the entire economy should be put in jeopardy just because folks in washington couldn't come together to eliminate a few special interest tax loopholes or government programs that we agree need some reform. >> our first read team notes that while republicans want to solely talk about the budget the white house does not want to be bogged down on one issue that in
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the past cost hem political capital. quote, the obama white house wants to overled wa's political circuits to see what it can get through congress without letting congress define what issues get addressed. joining us now kelly o'donnell. our first read team noted the p talking about guns, immigration and today addressing the issue of the sequester. >> reporter: well, there is that sprint in the first year of his second term to try to get as much done as possible. and urgency on all these issues for different reasons. and when it comes to the sequester, the automatic budget cuts, kind of an odd term for what's meant to be automatic sweeping cuts across the board for the departments with a few exceptions. that was put in place as you know to try to be a bit of a force on congress to make a more sweeping plan of long-term deficit reduction when they couldn't do that, this automatic cut put in to place, in to law. now republicans saying that they expect it will happen and in
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part are okay with that. because it would automatically begin achieving some spending cuts that the two sides have not been able to come to terms with in another way. you heard the president saying there needs to be more time and the real wrinkle now is that republicans thought the tax issue of increasing rates and more revenue just resolved and from their point of view, they thought no more taxes. that issue's off the table but democrats and the president are talking about things like the famous corporate jet loophole and other things to bring in more money. republicans are saying, no. this is going to be one of those standoff moments. will there be a lot of tension between both sides to try to figure this out? >> absolutely. 2:30 eastern time, the professionive caucus to introduce legislation to eliminate the sequester and seeing a lot of move chess peets
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pieces on the board. >> reporter: absolutely. >> thank you. let mess bring in the political panel. raul r you iz, molly ball also with us. molly, first let me start off with the information from the congressional budget office saying that they're predicting the budget deficit below $1 trillion for the first time in the president's tenure in office but the agency also goes on to project that the economy will grow 1.4%, just 1.4% if the 85 billion cut affect as scheduled march 1st. here we are with another deadline that's certainly will affect the average working person as we heard from the president. the unemployment would average an 8% if this happens according to the cbo. >> well, and this is the president's message, as well. there would be consequences to the economy if we just let the sequester happen. which some of the republicans have been threatening to do saying it would actually be a good thing and not scared of it.
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i view that as a bit of a bluff and brinksmanship going on. this is something as you were just saying is designed to be politically unpalatable to both sides and to maintain they're okay with letting it happen i don't think i fully believe that. but, you know, obama is on offense and he's trying to stay on offense on absolutely every issue. not letting anyone else control the narrative even on the issues of the budget and taxes and spending. where i think republicans thought especially since they put off the debt ceiling fight they'd be able to take control of this issue. >> let's play what mitch mcconnell said just yesterday slamming the democrats for floating new revenue proposals. >> this is just another opportunity to trot out the democrat focus group approved policy stunt. if this is another fake fight designed by the white house to push us to the brink, then republicans are really not interested in playing along.
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>> molly, another fake fight. as it was described by mitch mcconnell there. but we know when you look at polling and watched since the end of the year, the polls show it's republicans who come up short where people believe they're presenting the fake fight, at least some of the polling. >> well, it is interesting to hear mcconnell describe it as focus group approved. they believe public opinion on their side and if there is what is viewed as gridlock and dysfunction in washington, republicans are blamed by that. i think the white house concluded, looking back on the last four years, that every time republican sort of faint and clutch their pearls about my gosh, he's attacking us, he's so partisan, that's a sign they're winning, that the president is winning. >> let me play a little bit of what the president said regarding the economy and the recovery just a short time ago. let's play the president, please.
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>> our economy right now is headed in the right direction. and it will stay that way as long as there's no more self inflicted wounds out of washington so let's keep on chipping away at this problem together. >> and raul, the president pointed out that the proposals he made the first time regarding cuts, it's all still on the table. >> right. >> his point was today, let's start the negotiations. and if the sequester goes through, 7% cuts to defense. 5% cut to domestic spending. 2% reduction to medicare, food stamps, medicaid. people need those things to survive. >> right. it's very smart of him. he's pointing out the fact at the very individual and personal level people will suffer as a result of these cuts but look at the economy in the aggregate, we are just very slowly coming in to an economic recovery. this will have consequences for that. and really, what he's doing is very smart taking a full court
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press on all these different issues with the republicans because it's broadening the dialogue. forcing them to be -- to react and be on the defensive on a horse of issues. walk and chew gum at the same time. what the president at least according to first read team is doing is flooding the zone, the white house doesn't want to get bogged down on one issue as was the case with health care or debt ceiling and wants the gun control conversation going and immigration and deal with spending and cutting issues in washington. let's play what speaker boehner said on immigration, one of the items in the pot right now. >> this is not about being in a hurry. this is about trying to get it right. on behalf of the american people and those who are suffering under an immigration system that doesn't work very well for anybody. >> do you agree it's not about being in a hurry? because i just heard the number the other day, quote 11 million people in the country undocum t
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undocumented. >> most people agree whatever the number is, 11 millionest smat an undercount. i think for mr. boehner, no reason to hurry but the obama team, the white house, they have every reason to. momentum is on their side. the results of the elections are still fresh on people's minds and also on gun control and reform. the tragedy at newtown is also fresh on people's minds so they -- it is in their interest to get it moving and going and before it recreeds and also there's another danger as we approach the midterm elections, they're going to be the congressmen who are on the fence and backing away from support worried about the re-election and obama team is right to press on right now. >> is that a right strategy? i mean, again, the first read team believes they want to talk about the budget. hold the president down on that. perhaps. and this is not their take on it but it is perhaps because the issue of immigration and guns could be a losing battle. certainly immigration when you look at midterm elections. >> well, the white house wants
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to keep the momentum on their side. i think raul is right about that and offer a moving target. it's harder to focus on campaigning against any one proposal for the other side and the jury's out about whether this will work. the white house points to the beginning of obama's first term when he successfully used that momentum off of the '08 election and off of his original inauguration to accomplish many of the domestic policy successes of the first term right away. the difference is that was a democratic house, a wholly democratic congress. right now, we have divided government and so it's a different equation and remains to be seen whether the republican house is susceptible to this kind of pressure. >> thank you. great pleasure having both of you on. we're just learning president obama plans to visit israel this spring. it will mark the president's first visit to the nation since taking office. president obama spoke about the
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trip with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu last week. big news there. just in the past hour, new comments from the white house on the confidential justice department memo obtained by nbc news that makes the legal case for drone strikes on americans. >> the strikes were legal. they are ethical and they're wise. plus, a conservative blogger says the tea party brand has been, quote, effectively destroyed. how he says the movement needs to rebrand itself. it's just one of the things we thought you should know. of course, join our conversation. you can find out @tamronhall or @newsnation. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis,
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developing news within the past hour, the white house reacting to a secret 16-page justice department memo exclusively obtained by nbc news. in it, obama administration lawyers argue the government can kill americans believed to be top taliban leaders posing, quote, an imminent threat of attack against the united states. >> we have acknowledged the united states that sometimes we use remotely piloted aircraft to conduct targeted strikes against specific al qaeda terrorists to prevent attacks on the united states and to save american lives. we conduct those strikes because they're necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats, to stop plots, prevent future attacks and save american lives. the strikes are legal, ethical an wise. >> but as expected, the memo coming under fire from civil rights activists because of how broadly imminent threat is
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defined. quote, the condition that an operational leader present an imminent threat of violent attack against the united states does not require the united states to have clear evidence that a specific attack on u.s. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future. now, the memo also has new details on legal case behind more drone strikes against al qaeda suspects. such as a strike happened in yemen in september 2011 killing alleged al qaeda operatives, both american citizens not indicted or charged with crimes. all of this could come to a head on thursday for john brennan. eight democratic and three republican senators have written to president obama asking for the legal opinions authorizing the killing of americans. joining me now, national investigative correspondent michael isacoff. i saw your report and the reaction to the report. is it really surprising at this
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point? >> well, i think it's not that surprising, mainly because the administration has been so resistant to releasing any of the memos that explain its legal reasoning behind these drone strikes and in particular the drone strikes targeting american citizens. members of congress have asked to see copies. "the new york times" went to court and sued under the freedom of information act to obtain copies. and the administration has completely shut those requests down saying these memos are classified. if they exist and they're not going to discuss or release anything. so that has sort of built pressure up for the administration to show its cards. these are very consequential policies. we are here talking about american citizens who have constitutional rights to life
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and liberty which can't be deprived without due process of law under the constitution so if they're going to be targeted, with drone strikes, who's making those decisions and what are the criteria that are being used? >> all right. michael, thank you very much. joining me to talk about the questions posed by michael, jameel jeff ford and director of aclu national security project. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for the invitation. >> i would like to play attorney general holder just said today in response to the white paper. let's play it, please. >> one of the things i want to make sure everybody understands is our primary concern is to keep the american people safe. but to do so in a way that's consistent with our laws and consistent with our values. we are -- we have as a basis for action that we take a congressional statute that allows us to operate against al
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qaeda and associated entitentit not only in pakistan or not only in afghanistan but other parts of the world. we say that we only take these kinds of actions when there's an imminent threat, when capture is not feasible and when we are confident that we're doing so in a way that's consistent with federal and international law. >> does that answer or satisfy your concerns? >> no. i think that this is a memo that sets out a very broad authority. there are some limit that is are stated in the memo. for example, the administration says that they will carry out these strikes only against people who pose imminent threat but imminence is so broadly defined. and true of the other limitations. the limitations aren't really limitations at all. the other, you know, other issue with the limitations is that the administration says that they're not enforceable by any court so
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at the end of the day it is executive branch officials making the decision about whether any particular person presents a threat and nobody is looking over their shoulder. >> i want to read senator diane dpin stei feinstein, her statement this morning says in part as president obama said at time of his death, alaki was the operations leader of aqap. he directed the failed attempt to blow up an airplane on christmas day 2009 and responsible for attempts to blow up cargo planes in 2010. recruiting others to kill americans until the time of his death in yemen. essentially people read in to that this is a statement that the bad guys were planning something. so this is what needs to happen. you hear a lot of people say, how can you defend these people who were plotting against americans. >> right. so let's just assume that everything that that statement
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says about al alawaki is true? this is going to be true of others killed by drone strikes. they have not been under him. one was khan that grew up here in new york. another was a 16-year-old kid. nobody has ever alleged he did anything wrong. you have to make sure that you have checks and balances in place because some of the people that the government target may not be the worse guys in the world and make sure that the next administration has checks on it and the administration after that. even if you trust this administration with the power. >> especially urgent with the number of drone strikes since 2002. 4,700 killed in the use of drones. we did the segment with the "time" magazine writer. the cover was a drone nation and talking about the use internationally there. >> not only actual battlefields but afghanistan. there's no geographic limit set
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out in the memo that was released yesterday that mike isikoff got hold of. you're not talking about battlefield. you're talking about far removed from actual battlefields and you need to make sure that there are limits in place and for the executive branch to say just trust us is not enough. >> what do you need to hear from nominee cia nominee john brennan then on the hearing thursday? >> i think wuone thing the administration should do is release the legal memos before that hearing because this briefing paper is a summary of the legal memos, not the legal memos themselves. that should inform the debate about john brennan's nomination and then asked about the drone program, about his role in it, what he thinks of the checks and balances in place. >> thank you very much for joining us. i hope we can talk with you the day of the hearing, as well. thank you. >> thank you. up next, talking to adam schiff about a bill he's proposing to make it easier to
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file lawsuits against gun makers and gun dealers. plus, new details just in on how the 5-year-old boy in alabama was rescued after being held for a week in that underground bunker. a live report for you from the ground. first, today's "money minute." here's a look at the markets. look at you, so dashing. come on. nowadays, lots of people go by themselves. no they don't. yeah... hey son. have fun tonight. ♪ prom! [ laughs ] ♪ ♪ ain't nothin to me ♪ back against the wall ♪ ain't nothin to me
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♪ ♪ i want candy ♪ ♪ i want candy any minute now, a group of lawmakers will introduce a bipartisan bill to make firearms trafficking a federal crime, imposing stronger penalties for so-called straw purchasers who buy guns for convicted felons. joining me now is congressman adam schiff, he just introduced a bill to hold the gun industry
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accountable in cold and miss pozner, her son noah was among those killed in the sandy hook elementary school shooting. thank you both for joining us. congressman, you introduced a similar bill, a version of it, targeting straw purchasers. these people who 0 law for convicted felons to have guns and now seeing this again. is this a part of the strategy? put everything you can on the table as opposed to just looking at one thing, for example, zeroing in on assault weapons ban alone? >> well, it is going to require an approach that doesn't focus on a single solution because the problem is multifaceted but we certainly have to bring about universal background checks. but also, make sure that we're protecting against those that evade those background checks and that's the straw purchasers. people going to a gun store. they buy tens of weapons or more
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and then go and resell them or traffic them to people who couldn't pass the background check so this is a real problem. it's fueled a lot of violence in the country and certainly along the borders and this has to be part of the answer as well as the other pieces that you mentioned. >> and another piece of the puzzle as you pointed out in the op-ed in "los angeles times" focusing on lawsuits you think should be filed against gun dealers and manufacturers. you say no industry deserve it is right to act with reckless disregard for public safety and focusing in on a law from twif giving immunity from civil lawsuits. how would your bill work? >> well, tamron, that's exactly right. congress in 2005 passed the bill that gave the gun industry a form of immunity that no other industry has where it can act negligently and get away with it. a gun dealer turning a blind eye to the straw purchasers knowing that the people are not the
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ultimate users of the gun, it's very hard to go after them in court. most gun dealers in the course of a year, 85% or more don't sell a single gun used in a crime but a small number do sell huge numbers of weapons used in crime and the bill that i have introduced would repeal that immunity, would make that industry liable for bad practices and negligence and they ought to be held to the same standard as the car industry, the tobacco industry, every other industry in america. >> let me bring in you. let me tell you we're absolutely sad for your family and loss of noah and hearing other proposals, bipartisan proposals. you heard congressman schiff there. what gives you hope? you testified at hearings in connecticut last week calling for an assault weapons ban. what gives you hope what you would like to see in action will happen? >> well, i think we have reached
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critical mass. and i'm hoping that that incident in sandy hook, this horrible tragedy is going to be the tipping point. and it's time to close the loopholes and i agree that it requires comprehensive approach. the problem is multifaceted as the congressman said. multifact multifactorial. we can't look at just one aspect but i agree the immunity issue is definitely of concern because it's come to signify impunity, not just immunity. it's evolved to impunity and at the peril of public safety. >> right now, as mentioned, there is a group of bipartisan senators as well looking at we reported a number of options but the list could possibly not include a ban on assault weapons. if that is the case, if we don't see this ban that you so desperately desire to be part of
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the law, how will you feel? >> well, i think sometimes change effective change can be incremental. >> okay. >> and slow. and we all have to be patient in order to see it happen. but i believe ultimately change is at hand. >> all right. there was an article i read today about the -- if you will, the face of this battle over what to do regarding gun violence and on one side you have mothers like yourself who have lost children in horrific situations and then on the other side you have, for example, a woman who testified at one of the hearings saying that how would she feel as a mom needing to protect the children and not have the assault weapon she can legally possess to protect the family and two faces emerging. one like yours and one as we saw represented in the earring there. that brings a lot of emotions to hand but what would you say days
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and weeks passed since the loss of your baby, of your child to those who are still not convinced? >> well, all they have to look is at these tragedies that keep occurring. and the number of deaths to gun violence is just staggering. and i don't feel that an assault weapon is needed for prohome. i think that's overkill. i just don't feel that it's persuasive argument. >> congressman snichiff, what kd of support do you think you'll get? you have gun manufacturers providing money to nra. it is not the members that keep the coffers plump. it is the gun manufacturers here. we also know, for example, in minneapolis, the police and sheriff's departments are looking at whether or not gun manufacturers are supporting some of these proposals and if they don't they may stop purchasing the guns. but your bill in particular, what kind of support, bipartisan support do you think you'll get? >> well, i hope we can gather
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bipartisan support. it is a tough fight just as it is with the assault weapons ban but i feel the same way as mrs. pozner. people don't need an assault weapon to protect them in their homes and much more effective to have a shotgun in the house. we don't want the police outgunned on the street and don't want to go through the wrenching traumas, horrible tragedies in this country. if there isn't a time like now to act, i don't know when there is and i still have great hope that we can move both an assault weapons ban as well as remove this unique immunity and impunity that the gun industry enjoys. and advance universal background checks. preclude these extended ammunition clips only good for killing lots of people in a short amount of time. >> thank you both for your time and veronica, our thoughts and prayers with you and all of those families. >> thank you. >> thank you. up next, is eric cantor moving to the middle on
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immigration reform? >> one of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. >> so we've got new details on how congressman cantor may be trying to repair his brand. will it work? but first, there's a lot going on today. here's some things we thought you should know. new jersey senator menendez denying allegations he engaged with prostitutes in the dominican republic. he broke his silence for the first time last night speaking with reporters. >> the smears, the smears, that right-wing blogs have been pushing since the election and that is totally unsubstantiated. it's amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a website can drive that type of story into the mainstream but that's what
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they've done successfully. >> a conservative blogger on the website redstate.com says the tea party, quote, has become a cancer and is calling for the tea party movement to dump the name and rebrand. the blogger points to a poll that shows 8% of the americans identify as members of the tea party. and blame republicans like karl rove demonizing tea party candidates. jeff sessions says jack lew must never be treasury secretary. in a statement, sessions say lew would present a clear doing tore the economy and accused him of making false representations to congress. president obama nominated lew to replace outgoing secretary timothy geithner last month. at optionsxpress we're all about options trading. we create easy to use, powerful trading tools for all. look at these streaming charts!
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take beano before all right that's a fifth-floor probleok.. not in my house! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! no no no! not today! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! jimmy how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? happier than dikembe mutumbo blocking a shot. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. house majority leader eric cantor is the latest republican trying to rebrand the gop and maybe even his own image at the same time n. a speech this afternoon at the american enterprise institute, conservative think tank, cantor appeared to move to the middle,
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middle east a major issue, calling for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. >> it is time to provide an opportunity for legal residents and citizenship for those who are brought to this country as children and who know no other home. >> joining me now live nbc news senior political editor mark murray. mark, what do we make of the movement there of mr. cantor? >> tamron, you caught the big news of the speech. he's seeming to agree with the dream act, citizenship and a path for legalization to children who are illegal immigrants. this is noteworthy because eric cantor and other house republicans voted against this measure in 2010. so this is a reversal for him. and the entire speech was seemed to be as you mentioned a rebranding of the republican party. in fact, also of eric cantor himself trying to move away from the divisive budget battles we have seen over two years to other issues like immigration,
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like education and health care. >> well, we know, of course, many members of the gop talked about rebranding after the election, a big memo and they have had focus groups look at the party itself and what it needs to do but specifically with mr. cantor, what is his motivation? seeks to rebrand house gop. what is the benefit for him other than the obvious elections? >> look at where the republican party right now is. its popularity. so the republican party coming after two straight presidential defeats is looking for a way to appeal to more voters, get the message across and not seen as big budget cutters and they probably become more synonymous with cutting spending and something they think is a very big goal and cantor said it is a big goal and only associated with that. nothing about the conservatism
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with a face as we saw from george w. bush when he first ran for president. this is a way to kind of turn away from the spending cuts, be what republicans could be more for in addition to spending cuts. >> as pointed out, this is not cantor's first crack as it put in the article repackaging republicanism or second or third. and the focus of cuts if that had resulted in wins in election, of course, we wouldn't hear his new remarks about immigration or perhaps even supporting the dream act. >> well, and that's right. and the politico article you were referencing did say this is yet another speech of cantor that seems to be reinventing himself but politics is also about reinventing yourself and looking at the political wnds and remarkable someone that voted against the dream act stands for it. i do think that could have repercussions even though the dream act is only one small part of the legalization and other people are fighting for. >> thank you very much.
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great pleasure having you on. david gregory will have an interview with e reck cantor this sunday. gut check. >> basically, the healthiest fat guy you have ever seen in your life. >> governor chris christie had been the target of countless late-night weight loss and now bringing the jokes to the david letterman show. is that a good idea? officials were worried about the possibility of a power failure. we have new details for you and around the "news nation." red lobster's 30 shrimp. wow, that's a lot of shrimp. [ male announcer ] it's red lobster's 30 shrimp! for $11.99 pair any two shrimp selections on one plate! like mango jalapeño shrimp and parmesan crunch shrimp.
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hostage alabama. fbi agents trained for yesterday's raid by building a mock bunker like the one where the boy was being held for seven days. the captor, 65-year-old nam vet died in the raid. the circumstances around the death are not clear. the child's relatives say he is happen to be home and turns 6 tomorrow. nbc news gabe gutierrez at the scene still in alabama. when might we get more details on the cause of death of the man holding the child? >> reporter: we hope to get that information within the next day or so but slowly information is trickling out about how the raid went down. there's still quite a little bit of activity behind me at the command center. this investigation is far from over. federal agents are still almost a day after the standoff ended still checking the approximate for explosives and then they have to process evidence so it's a very long, tedious process they're going through.
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nbc news has confirmed according to a police -- law enforcement source that the hostage team involved in this trained for this raid by building their own mock bunker. and we also are confirming from that police source that the reason -- that the way that the hostage team figured out what was going on inside the bunker is they were able to manage a secret camera in to that bunker. now, they won't say exactly how because they want to reveal the methods but that secret camera led them to believe jimmy lee dykes was threatening the little boy named ethan yesterday and so negotiations had deteriorated over that 24-hour period. again, we still don't know exactly how jimmy lee dykes died. there's stale question of whether it was a gunshot or whether the flash bang that was used to distract him, whether that may have been the reason that he died but again were still awaiting autopsy results
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and to hear from the medical examiner before confirming that. >> thank you very much. the u.s. justice department has a multibillion dollar lawsuit against s&p. the civil suit announced today by attorney general holder alleged that standard & poor's inflated loans. s&p denied wrongdoing saying the lawsuit is without merit. managers at the new orleans super dome say they'll hire outside experts to find the cause of that 34-minute blackout and internal memo showed that the power company had concerns of potential failures as early as last october. american skier lindsey vaughn injured the knee today after crashing at an event in austria. vaughn was air lifted to a nearby hospital. u.s. ski team officials say she suffered torn ligaments and out the rest of the season and
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expected to recover in time for the 2014 olympic games. tomorrow, boy scouts board members will vote on ending the group's ban on gay members. up next, i'll talk with the eagle scout who spoke at the dnc of two moms and get his reaction. you can join the "news nation" on facebook. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop? campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans,
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you can join the "news nation" on twitter. find the twitter page @newsnation. the board of directors of boy scouts meeting now and voting to end the ban of gay scout leaders. demanding an end of the policy in texas today. joining me now former eagle scout and gay right activist, zach walls. thank you so much for joining us, zach.
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>> thanks for having me, tamron. >> it was your speech that moved so many people and a household name if you will or famous for speaking out here and now we're on the verge of seeing the scouts make this big move. >> absolutely. >> what's your reaction? >> no. we're excited the scouts are finally bringing an end to the 35-year-old policy but we have to understand, too, the work is not yet done. our organization scouts for equality is working with change.org to lobby the bsa all over the country and while the policy change will end the ban it will not prevent gay members from participating in the organization and while it's a step in the right direction, we feel that discrimination at any level of the organization sends a harmful message to young kids. >> what's the next step to your point to get a complete erasal of this policy? >> unfortunately, because the bsa is opaque about this, we're
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not sure what kind of language they'll be setting forth. they may end the ban at a national level entirely and removing the possibility of local discrimination but if they don't we'll work with regional governing bodies for a nondiscrimination policies to be a step to potentially alienate some of the more conservative members -- >> you have rick santorum writing saying this is a war on the scouts. >> right. no. that's absolutely ridiculous. as somebody that grew up in the organization, spent 12 years of my life as a scout, as somebody looking to the long term, full destruction of the scouts only occurs if the bsa does not lift that ban and how young people are of lgbt equality in this country. >> thank you so much for joining us and we hope to see you soon. >> thanks for having me. >> we'll talk more after the actual move is made. time for the "gut check."
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new jersey governor chris christie, well, apparently if he can dish it out, he can take it. christie poked fun of the weight while a guest on the show last night. one point he as you said pulled out a doughnut and resurrected some of the favorite letterman quote fat jokes. >> here's two of them we particularly liked. first one is celebrity birthday today. chris christie turned 50, blew out the candles on the cake and wished for another cake. a billion dollars will be spent on potato chips for super bowl sunday and that's just at governor chris christie's house. >> he described himself as -- described the weight as fair game and said if the joke is funny, he won't hesitate to laugh at himself and said his cholesterol and blood sugar levels are normal. telling letterman he is quote the healthiest fat guy you have seen in your life. what's your gut tell you?
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was it a good idea to joke about his weight on letterman? that does it for this edition of "news nation." i'm tamron hall. catch us every weekday 2:00 eastern time only here on msnbc. i'm phyllis, and i have diabetic nerve pain. when i first felt the diabetic nerve pain, of course, i had no idea what it was. i felt like my feet were going to sleep. it progressed from there to burning like i was walking on hot coals to like a thousand bees that were just stinging my feet. i have a great relationship with my doctor. he found lyrica for me. [ female announcer ] it's known that diabetes damages nerves.
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